Renovating a Quarry Tiled Hearth in Lindow End

We received an inquiry from a client in Lindow End near Wilmslow Golf Club in the Cheshire stockbroker belt. They were restoring their home and were unhappy with the state of the Quarry tiled hearth under their log burning stove. We arranged a site visit to survey the tile and grout and provide a quote for restoring the appearance. The village is situated in what’s known as the ‘Cheshire Golden Triangle’ which is one of the most sought-after places to live in the UK after London. As a result, we often find ourselves in this area working on some very nice properties, so it wasn’t long before we were able to call in and survey the tiles.

Quarry Tiled Hearth Before Grout Colouring Lindow End

As you can see from the pictures the hearth was quite dirty and the grouting had discoloured from years of use of the wood burner. The work here was a minor part of their restoration which had included significant building work. We agreed a price to carry out the work, which should only take a day and were able to return the following week.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hearth

Our first job was to cover the newly sanded and sealed wooden floors with dust sheets, so we didn’t mark them as we came in the front door to the lounge. We always try and make as little mess as possible and we are always as careful as possible.

We then sprayed Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the fire hearth tiles. This is a multi-purpose tile and grout cleaner which would make light work of the dirty tiles. The product was left to soak into the Quarry tile and grout for about twenty minutes before being scrubbed in. The hearth was a small area, so this was done by hand and then washed down with clean water.

The dirty residue was removed using a wet vacuum then the tiles where wiped down with a clean micro fibre cloth. We then dried off the tiles using a little encouragement with a heat gun to speed up the drying process. Speed drying the tile and grout in this manor would allow us to complete the work in one visit.

Applying Sandstone Grout Colourant

Once the tiles and grout lines were dry it was clear that years of dirt and soiling had stained the grout, so although no much cleaner it was clear more work would be needed to give the grout a fresh and consistent appearance.

To address this issue with the grout we selected to apply a Sandstone Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. This is applied with a small brush and brushed it into the grout lines. It is quite a precise job but any colourant that goes onto the tiles is removed with a baby wipe before it dries. This process really transformed the look of the grout, the colourant also forms a barrier over the grout which will protect it going forward and make it easier to clean.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles were then given a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing sealer. This brings out the best in the quarry tiles and adds protection against future staining which will be needed given its location.

Quarry Tiled Hearth After Grout Colouring Lindow End

The client was very happy with the finish, in fact the hearth looked like it had been newly tiled, the impact of the recoloured grout was that striking. Sometimes the smallest jobs can be the most rewarding.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Hearth in Cheshire

Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles Revitalised in Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank Mill is an old textile mill just outside of Wilmslow in East Cheshire that dates back to the Industrial Revolution when it was used to produce cotton. The mill is now under the care of the National Trust who recently put together a £9.4 million project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund the further restoration of the mill and its gardens.

The 18th century mill is now a popular attraction and I was recently asked to clean and seal the Sandstone flooring in the Kitchen of the head gardeners cottage. The cottage is actually located in the formal gardens which were recently visited by HRH Price of Wales.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The Sandstone Kitchen floor was in good physical condition so unlikely to be the original however like any stone floor in constant use the sealer was wearing off and dirt was becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone detracting from its overall appearance.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Cleaning Dirty and Dull Sandstone Flagstones

Our first job was to protect the wooden kitchen units and other woodwork with tape. Next I set about cleaning the Sandstone and stripping any reaming sealer off in the process. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is multi-purpose stripper and cleaner. The product strips away any old sealer on the tiles and draws out ingrained dirt, stains and heavy grease build-up.

I applied the product and left it to soak for roughly fifteen to twenty minutes to allow time to break down the old sealer and penetrate the pores of the stone to reach any embedded dirt. Next, I scrubbed the floor using a specialised buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad swelled with water to get the stone clean. The resulting dirty cleaning slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum and after rinsing with water With the floor clear I was able to spot stubborn areas that need more work and repeated the process.

With the stone clean I turned my attention to the grout lines and scrubbed in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then rinsed off with water. I then completed another spot check of the floor whilst using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible. With the cleaning part of the job complete I left for the day to allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Sealing Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

Upon returning to the property the following day, I tested the floor with a damp meter, checking for any excess moisture that could prevent me from sealing the stone. The floor proved dry and so I began to seal the Sandstone starting with a single coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that is designed to fill the pores of the stone blocking dirt from becoming ingrained there whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone at the same time.

Once the Colour Grow was dry I followed with the application of five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a compatible water-based acrylic sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The floor now looks much healthier and the new sealer show keep it looking that way for some years to come.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Sandstone Tiled Floor in Wilmslow

Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Cleaned in Prestbury

This fantastic chequered black and white Victorian Tiled Hallway was located at a house in the village of Prestbury north of Macclesfield in Cheshire. According to Wikipedia Presbury is part of the “Cheshire Golden Triangle” villages which include Wilmslow and Alderley Edge which are the most sought after and expensive places to live outside of London.

It was a lovely building however a new stair case had been fitted which didn’t quite match the foot print of the original staircase leaving a gap in the hallway tiling. The owner of the property wanted matching tiles fitted and also to give the floor and good clean and seal so they would blend in.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury Before Repair and Clean

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

To clean the floor and strip off any remaining sealer I first created a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean cleaning solution which is a versatile alkaline cleaner that’s designed for use on tile, stone and grout. reliably eradicates dirt on a wide variety of natural stone floors.

The solution was applied liberally across the floor, and left to dwell for about ten minutes to allow time for it to soak into the Victorian tiles. It was then scrubbed into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary cleaning machine. The resulting cleaning slurry was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process until I was confident the tiles were clean and free of old sealer.

The next step was to treat the floor to an acid wash using Acid Gel, this is especially important on old floors where there is no damp proof course to prevent damp rising through the tile leaving salt deposits on the surface. This problem is known as efflorescence and is neutralised by the acid. The gel was then removed and the floor given another rinse using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

The last task of the day was to fix replacement tiles in the gap left by the original staircase. Fortunately, Tile Doctor keep a range of replacement tiles so I was able to source some that matched without too much problem. After grouting the hallway was left to dry off fully overnight so it could be ready for sealing the next day.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property and ran some damp tests. This is incredibly important to do before sealing any tiled floor because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer that enhances colour and protects from within. I dusted off any excess sealer and then followed up with the application of four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish. I waited two hours for the sealer to dry and then the rotary machine fitted with a white buffing pad over the floor to makes sure everything was nice and tight.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Prestbury